Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Truth About Halloween

Many people today are getting ready to take part in a tradition they probably know nothing about. Maybe they understand its symbolism of being “the day of the dead” but to those who do not believe in such ridiculous “celebrating,” then why continue participating? I know many Christian people who are dressing their children up in costumes with innocent intentions of having fun and getting candy, but I believe this is wrong. Christians are supposed to stand for truth, not tolerance or even acceptance. I understand the concept of running around and getting candy is very appealing. In fact I myself joined thousands of children running door to door when I was younger. But something about it all doesn’t feel right, and that is because it is not a tradition supported in the Bible.

Here is an excerpt from The Temple News (www.thetemplenews.com):

The actual concept of Halloween is derived from an early Celtic holiday called Samhein (pronounced sow-in) that took place at the beginning of the winter season on Oct. 31. This day marked the end of summer and the end of food abundance and plant vitality for farmers. Spirits of the dead were believed to roam freely. On the day known as "The Day of the Dead," living relatives would help their dead loved ones complete a safe journey to the afterlife. People would paint or carve scary faces on gourds and turnips and disguise themselves in outlandish costumes to scare away the evil spirits that were also thought to be wandering the earth that night.

There is no evidence in the Bible of a “Day of the Dead” where spirits come and roam the earth hoping for relief to live their afterlife. I mean come on! Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Do we as Christians honor and pray to saints? No. We hear all this talk about Hairy Potter and parents not letting their kids read it, and here we are actually allowing our kids to dress up and pretend to be a witch? Is it supposed to be cute? I have no problem with make-believe or dress-up, but we really need to begin thinking about what we do as believers. If we are supposed to be in the world, but not OF the world, then we are not showing this by participating because it is fun.

If we just participate for fun, then our message is that we believe it is ok to do something because it is enjoyable and entertaining. Imagine if we used this thought for other areas of life? What becomes absolute truth? If making fun of people is enjoyable to us at the moment is this ok?

I feel like we as Christians are slacking. I feel like we do not always think about the things we do because we don’t want to go against someone else’s opinion. But here it is. What are we suggesting to our kids? Most kids don’t even know what Halloween is. I asked some kids I knew and they had no clue. They do it because they are taught to do it. I actually was made fun of by these kids because I told them I don’t believe in Halloween. Doesn’t that say something? Kids make fun of someone, when they have no idea why they do something they do? Do we as adults? Shouldn’t we?

I know most people don’t do Halloween because they are about spirits walking around. I know this is not their intention. I know they are innocent and like to get costumes for their sons and daughters. I mean I would love to see lots of little butterflies. I am just asking some questions and stating that the meaning of Halloween doesn’t fit with God’s word and how can we make it?

We can't.

Peter I 5:8 Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.

Here is another excerpt from a website http://www.exposingsatanism.org/halloween.htm

Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called "lord of death". It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.

It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.

Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living...But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.
In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, this is the day when Satan himself comes to "fellowship" with his followers. Many changes have occurred over the centuries, but one thing ha stayed the same, the practice of giving an "offering" has stayed the same. Oh we do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning? Is it still the same as in the old days? I say the answer is YES.


Ask yourself why you do the things you do. And remember you as the adult are responsible for teaching your children the truth.

Luke 17:2 “It would be better for him if a milestone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

Friday, October 19, 2007

Gracey's Daydream

Gracey snuggles in Auntie Jessica's butterfly bed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On Route

Each year in the fall hundreds and thousands of butterflies travel south. On route is a little tiny city in Texas called Abilene. Yes!!! I am on the path chosen for migration. They stop here to say “hi” to me and then continue their journey. Years ago a friend took me to see them. They told me where we were going and I could not believe it would be true. Hundreds of butterflies just hanging out? Yeah, right!!! But they were correct. We walked down a path and along a small trail and on a tree were hundreds of monarch butterflies. This year, 6 years later, I had to check and see if perhaps they would still be at this location. I noticed several as we walked up and went down the little path and looked over to the left and saw bright vibrant colors dancing on leaves. Six years later they were at the same place! I was so delighted and touched. It is like a secret place hidden away inches from where tons of people walk each day. Only if they knew what was so close, a beautiful example of God’s fragile complex workmanship.



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bring on the Rain


“A single battle lost
But not the war.”


Jo Dee Messina Bring on the Rain

Sunday, October 14, 2007

First Fruits

They waited
and waited
and waited
and one day, that without color began turning crimson red
It was sweet
It was satisfying
to be reminded
that which is sown
reaps fruit


We actually harvested Tomato! I got to eat one and now I await to have some more. The plant is out of control! There are so many Tomatoes growing everywhere. Most are still green, but soon the plant will be covered in red!
Here are some photos of the special occasion...











Friday, October 12, 2007

God's Masterpiece

Quiet searching
Like tip-toe’s on the floor
Hoping to not disturb the peace
Maybe I will sneak up on something exciting
Something I’ve never seen before
Something I’ve never heard before
Something I never thought to think of
Maybe today God will reveal to me a miracle
His love
His joy
His ability to take anything and form a masterpiece


Last night we went to an art show in support of our friend’s new studio “Filos.” They are located in a series of studios up on a second floor of a downtown building. After viewing their beautiful exhibit we ventured to the other studio receptions and came to a back room with a small hallway. Outside were several canvas paintings with vibrant colors, one being pink it caught my attention and we went in. Inside was a large studio surrounded by beautiful paintings. All were expressive paintings using multicolor paint. Some canvases were small and others were large, but it covered the wall in such a way as though one would forget there was wall behind them. Most artists were there and I looked around to see two women in the room. I ask the older of who the artist was and she explained it was her daughter, Jessica. Jessica sat on the couch beside me and I instantly knew she was disabled. She was not able to communicate, but her mom explained she understood what we were saying. I told Jessica I loved her paintings and was honored to meet her. She smiled and screamed a little. I knew that was enough. I worked with disabled people before and sometimes that scream can be the biggest credit. She and I are nearly the same age. She was small and beautiful and I could have stayed in that room all night watching her. But there was something else that brought tears to my eyes as Bryan and I pushed the button for the elevator. Her mom.

Her mother loved her so much. You could tell not only by the fact that she was there, but also by the belief she had in Jessica. She rented the studio for her, bought all of her materials, and assisted her to the place to create what was in Jessica’s heart. She allowed her daughter to create anything she pleased with any color she could find under the sun. Her mom told me that her daughter is the most amazing person because Jessica always keeps her happy. She said, “My daughter is the most happiest person in the world, and she reminds me to be to.”

On the street people unfortunately might not understand someone as special as Jessica. It may seem like she has nothing to offer to this world. Yet, Jessica has more to offer than most. She has beauty in her heart. It is evident in what she designs. She showed me a piece of heaven inside her eyes and within her art.

We are both artists seeking to display God’s splendor.

If you ever have a chance to see her or the Filos studio it is up on the Cedar and North 2nd Cockrell Building.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fields of Faith

Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to do the photography for this year’s annual Fields of Faith conference. Bryan and I volunteered at Beltway to assist with this youth rally and were excited about it for days. He was to counsel young kids as they accepted the Lord as their Savior while I documented the evening as well as I could. God was doing so much last night that I left feeling like I only got a mere glance at the emotion and realness of His work. Over 6,000 kids were there! Many of them came to know the Lord and still more came to be prayed over and encouraged.

At some moments I was almost unable to capture a photo because of the scene I was viewing through the lens. I would get tears in my eyes seeing what Jesus’ was doing! It was extremely humbling.

Here is what it is all about! (taken from http://www.fieldsoffaith.com/):

Fields of Faith is a student-to-student event. Peers invite their own classmates and teammates to meet on their school’s athletic field to hear fellow students share their faith testimonies, challenge them to read the Bible and to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

An athletic field is a location that everyone is familiar with and provides a neutral, interdenominational rally point. Local student leaders with the help of a local youth pastor or adult leader form a Leadership Team. This team forms partnerships with area churches regardless of denomination. Each Leadership Team then plans and programs their Field of Faith event.

Fields of Faith follows the method used by King Josiah (read more). Most modern rallies are anchored to an entertainment/professional speaker model. This tends to separate the crowd from the specialists, which creates a spectator event. Fields of Faith seeks to highlight students/peers in the program creating a powerful point of identity and connection. The impact and success is rooted in simplicity and focus:

Bring many people together at one time.
Read Scripture and share personal testimonies.
Be challenged by fellow students to read the Word of God and to follow Jesus Christ.

If you would like to know more about Fields of Faith please visit: http://www.fieldsoffaith.com/

Enjoy these photos from last night...












All photos on this post are copyrighted and are the property of Olivia M. Brigham and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Althletes)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Remebering our Angel




Happy 4th Angel Day Natalie Grace
October 2, 2003


Monday, October 01, 2007

A treasure in heaven

Every year around this time I get sentimental as I remember my daughter Natalie. Tomorrow is her birthday and she would be 4. Four years old! Oh, how I wish I could see her running, laughing, growing, and learning. It hurts my heart to desire this because I know I will never get to here on earth. There are so many explanations and comforts I heard about Natalie over these years, but in context of our recent loss, I again confirm that such things have no good explanation. These situations are not meant to be good, in fact they are not even meant to happen and to anyone who wishes to reassure someone like me, tell them you hate what happened to them. It is a simple statement that can bring more comfort than any Bible verse or non-thought out speech. God may have everything in His control, but it doesn’t mean bad things and WRONG things wont happen. Hating that my daughter died does not jeopardize my belief that God has control. I chose to believe He has this in His hands because I chose to have faith in something I don’t feel or see.

Natalie is our angel. She was a beautiful little girl. I will celebrate her life and the things she taught me about God, faith, and the truth about heaven. And I will weep for all the “nevers.” I will cry out to God and ask again for His comfort to get me through tomorrow. I will request for His love to protect my heart and mind.

As for my sweet angel, I miss you, love you, and I am so thankful I held you. You made heaven real to me by reminding me of Jesus's promise that whoever believes in Him will spend eternity with Him in heaven. Since you are on my heart constantly, you remind me of God and our future together with Him.